Rosie just wrapped up the stops of her official Great Escapes Book Tour and I decided to tag myself on to the end. Yesterday I reviewed the first Italian Kitchen Mystery, Murder and Marinara and today you can find my review of The Wedding Soup Murder below my interview with Rosie. The Tour Rafflecopter Giveaway ends tomorrow night at midnight. My giveaways of my review copies will run the usual 2 weeks.
Now without further ado Let’s Chat with Rosie!
Let’s start with the basics – Where are you from?
I grew up in a small town with a big name–Kenilworth. It’s in central New Jersey, and my parents still live there.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember–stories and songs when I was little, and lots of bad poetry when I was in high school. A big part of the reason I started writing has to do with my mom, who encouraged me from the time I was very young. She now serves as my first draft reader.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I suppose I have always considered myself a writer, but didn’t feel entitled to say it out loud until I finished my first manuscript, which was about ten years ago.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book, which is unpublished, is a romantic comedy, an update of Much Ado about Nothing set at the Jersey shore. But my first published book, Murder and Marinara, was inspired by a number of things: the Golden Age mysteries of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, as well as my deep love for good Italian cooking and the Jersey shore.
Do you have a specific writing style?
That is an interesting question. Well, I aim to give readers some laughs while they are puzzling out the mystery, so I would hope my style is humorous. (Reviewers have described it as “breezy,” which I hope is not code for “lacks seriousness.”)
My new release, The Wedding Soup Murder, Book 2 in the Italian Kitchen Mysteries. In it, my main character Victoria is put in charge of catering the soup course at a fancy country club wedding. But when there’s a murder after the reception, Vic once again has to put her sleuthing skills to work.
How did you come up with the title?
My titles usually carry some reference to food or a specific Italian dish. I generally work with my agent and editor and we brainstorm ideas.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The story in The Wedding Soup Murder is driven by the theme of family, but that’s as much as I can say without spoilers!
How much of the book is realistic?
I would say that the setting is realistic and that the characters themselves are realistic, and I like to think that their dialogue sounds natural. Some of the situations in which they find themselves, however, owe an awful lot to my writer’s imagination.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
To a certain extent, the characters in the Italian Kitchen Mysteries are inspired by people I know, but they are composites of various character traits. Nonna, for example, is an amalgam of my two Italian grandmothers. In terms of setting, I have spent every summer of my life visiting the Jersey shore, and it’s a milieu I know very well. I also worked in Italian restaurants when I was in college. Like Victoria, when I was a thirty-ish woman I felt the pull between family and work, so here and there my own experiences do sneak through.
What books have most influenced your life most?
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf changed my life, or at the very least my thinking about what it means to be a writer. We all need a room of our own!
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I look at how certain writers have reached out to those starting out–particularly Kristan Higgins and Stephanie Evanovich, both of whom have been kind and supportive to me–and I try to model that behavior myself. Writing and publishing is not for the faint of heart, and we need all the support we can get.
What book are you reading now?
I recently read Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling and hope to get my hands on Silkworm soon.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Well, Galbraith is certainly not a new author–the whole world knows “he” is really J.K. Rowling, but her work as a mystery writer is new to me, and somewhat of a revelation. Her books as Galbraith remind me of one of my favorites, P.D. James.
What would you like my readers to know?
That I love hearing from them! My website is www.rosiegenova.com and I am also on Facebook and Goodreads.
Thank you so much Rosie for taking the time to visit with us.
About Rosie Genova
A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for much of her work. Her new series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is informed by her appreciation for good food, her pride in her heritage, and her love of classic mysteries from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple. Her debut novel, Murder and Marinara, was named a 2013 Best Cozy by Suspense Magazine and is a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. An English teacher by day and novelist by night, Rosie also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista. She still lives in her home state with her husband and the youngest of her three Jersey boys.
Find Rosie on the internet:
The Wedding Soup Murder: An Italian Kitchen Mystery
Series: An Italian Kitchen Mystery (Book 2)
Obsidian(September 2, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
E-Book File Size: 1886 KB
Victoria Rienzi came home to the Jersey Shore to write a new book, learn the family restaurant business, and practice the fine art of Italian cooking. But when delicious dishes are paired with murder, Vic has a little too much on her plate…
When Vic asked her nonna for more responsibility in the kitchen, she didn’t mean making a thousand tiny meatballs by hand for the family’s famous wedding soup. The dish is to be served at the reception for a close family friend at the exclusive Belmont Country Club. And once there Vic has to deal with a demanding bridezilla and clashes in the kitchen—between the staff and servers, between two egocentric head chefs, and between the country club president and…well…everyone.
The wedding comes off without a hitch—until the body of the club’s president is found on the beach below a high seawall. Now Vic will need to use her noodle to find out who pushed whom too far…before she’s the one who lands in the soup!
Another winner from this author. I was spoiled by being to read both books in this series back to back.
I have fallen hard for the whole Rienzi family. They are all back. The romantic triangle/tension continues to evolve between Vic, her old boyfriend Tim and carpenter Cal. Nonna is still keeping her family in check and strongly guiding them to her way of thinking. All the characters are growing as we get to know them better.
In this installment we meet the chefs at the Belmont Country Club and let’s just say I would rather spend time with chef Gordon Ramsey:) These chefs are extremely temperamental and are not happy having outsiders in their kitchen. When the Club President is found dead there are plenty of suspects including the chefs and the father of the bride.
I was very impressed with the way Genova weaves the mystery into the Rienzi family subplots. It is seamless. Having a mystery writer as the protagonist just blends everything together deliciously, like a masterful piece of Italian lasagna, with plenty of layers. This breathes life into the characters and makes the jump off the pages.
As with the first story the descriptions and talk of the food made me so hungry. Again I appreciate the recipes included in the back of the book.
The only part I don;t like it that now I have to wait for a whole year to visit this wonderful Italian family. Ciao Rienzi Family! I can’t wait until we meet again!!
I am giving away my review copy!!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”